The Ivy Leeds: What I thought of my dinner in the grand surroundings of the Victoria Quarter restaurant

Sometimes, a restaurant’s reputation may precede it.
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Not so with the Ivy. In resplendent surroundings of the Victoria Quarter, Leeds, diners can expect it to live up to – and perhaps surpass – every glowing review they may have read.

The front of house team are chatty and accommodating; we arrived a little early so were escorted to the bar while the finishing touches were put to our table.

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This gave us ample opportunity to take in the surroundings; the eclectic and colourful artwork, gleaming glassware, sparkling chandeliers and flickering candles.

The desserts stole the showThe desserts stole the show
The desserts stole the show

On a dull Wednesday evening, almost every table was taken, giving the restaurant a pleasant buzz.

The mix of diners was almost as varied as the artwork. Bright young things celebrating a birthday, older couples, ladies who lunch stepping out for dinner instead, couples enjoying a special occasion.

That’s part of the magic of the Ivy – there is something to please everyone, regardless of the occasion.

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Our reviewer was impressed by the 'resplendent surroundings' of The Ivy LeedsOur reviewer was impressed by the 'resplendent surroundings' of The Ivy Leeds
Our reviewer was impressed by the 'resplendent surroundings' of The Ivy Leeds
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After perusing the menu – comprehensive without being overwhelming – and being asked by our server whether we had allergies, we enquired about the set menu, a more-than-reasonable £16.95 for two courses or £21.50 for three.

However, the steak my guest had sent his heart on was unavailable so we chose from the a la carte menu instead. He plumped for a starter of cured smoked salmon with lemon, black pepper and rye bread followed by chicken Milanese.

The vegetarian and vegan menu is extensive but I narrowed it down to twice-baked cheese souffle then miso baked aubergine.

The salmon was plentiful and exquisite; the souffle was the stuff of a cheese-lover’s dream, soft and light with a slight piquancy countered by the truffle sauce.

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Unfortunately, when the mains arrived, my guest’s chicken had flown the coop to be replaced by cod.

Delicious though the banana leaf-baked fillet with pickled fennel, broccoli and a chilli mayonnaise was, he was a tad disappointed not to receive what he ordered.

Our server apologised profusely and it was immediately removed from the bill at this point he had eaten the vast majority as it proved to be delicious and happily had been perfectly complemented by a side of Ivy cut chips.

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My aubergine was baked to perfection and brought to life by the zingy dressing.

Both were beautifully presented yet this was far from being a case of style over substance; side dishes are plentiful yet by no means a necessity.

However, the limelight was well and truly stolen by dessert. My creme brulee was a soft and satisfying delight; my guest’s sticky toffee pudding indulgent and adorned with what can only be the finest ice cream known to man.

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Buttery and sweet, it elevated the entire experience into the category marked ‘unforgettable’.

It’s not cheap – our bill with drinks was £89 despite the reduction – but for a memorable experience it’s a great choice.


Address: Victoria Quarter, Leeds, LS1 6BB

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 11.30am-midnight; Friday 11.30am-1am; Saturday 11am – 1am; Sunday 11am-11pm.

Website: www.theivyleeds.comScores

Food: 9

Service: 8

Atmosphere: 9

Value: 8

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